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25 Feb, 2024 03:33

Ukraine signs security deals with Italy and Canada

The pacts pave the way for more military and financial aid to Kiev
Ukraine signs security deals with Italy and Canada

The leaders of Italy and Canada signed security agreements with Ukraine during their visit to Kiev on Saturday, marking the beginning of the third year of the fighting between Ukraine and Russia.

According to the deal signed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Ottawa will provide Can$3.02 billion (US$2.2 billion) “in macroeconomic and military support.”

Canada has provided US$1.78 billion in military assistance to Kiev since the start of Russia’s military operation in February 2022, and recently pledged to deliver more than 800 multipurpose drones.

“We will continue to be there with you as long as it takes [and] with everything it takes until Ukraine wins,” Trudeau said during his meeting with Zelensky.

The details of the agreement between Zelensky and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni have not been made public, although the Ukrainian leader said it will provide a foundation for deeper cooperation. “I thank Italy for its support to Ukraine, in particular the defense capability and reconstruction of our state, and for continuing to provide military aid to Ukraine,” he posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday.

Italy has approved eight packages of military aid worth $722 million since February 2022, according to Germany’s Kiel Institute.

The deals reached in Kiev on Saturday follow similar pacts made with France, Germany, and Denmark last week and with the UK last month. They were signed at a crucial moment for Ukraine, which regularly complains that it lacks ammunition.

Deliveries of weapons, equipment, and financial aid have been delayed due to bitter political in-fighting in the EU and US. Republicans in the US Congress have so far refused to approve President Joe Biden’s most recent Ukraine aid bill.

Russia has repeatedly stated that deliveries of armaments to Ukraine will not change the course of the conflict and only increase the risks of further escalation.